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The Citadel

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The Citadel is a proposed planned community in the mountains of Idaho, designed to be a "bastion of liberty", complete with a pseudo-medieval curtain wall and towers.

As of March 2016, after 4 years of promotion, it still seems to exist only as promotional materials and a website. It is fairly clear it's a failed publicity stunt for its creators, III Arms Company.[1]

The Citadel was brought to the attention of a larger audience on The Colbert Report which mocked the project, citing its similarity to Glenn Beck's Independence USA project.[2] The Daily Show followed suit two weeks later.[3] It has also been mocked by The Young Turks.[4]

III Arms and 80% guns[edit]

III Arms Company is a small firearms manufacturing company who claim that they are "the ONLY firearms manufacturer in the WORLD that builds their product specifically to kill tyrants."[5] Their name came from the "Three Percenter" ideology found within many parts of the "Christian Patriot" right, the idea that only 3% of America's able-bodied men actually fought in the American Revolution (the number was closer to 15%, higher than the participation rate in most armed conflicts the United States has been involved in) and that they are a modern-day version of those Revolution-era Minutemen. If this idea sounds uncomfortably similar to Marxist vanguardism, then you probably won't be surprised to learn that Mike Vanderboegh, the founder of the Three Percenter movement, claims to have been a former New Left activist in the '60s and '70s before converting to libertarianism.[6]

Over the course of at least four years, they only produced two guns for consumers, both sold at almost twice the cost of comparable guns from other manufacturers: an AR-15 assault rifle and a Colt 1911 copy which looks more like a Wii accessory than something you would use to take down a tyrant.[7]

During 2016, the company ceased offering new firearm orders for several months before relaunching their website, now apparently specializing in selling gun kits to unlicensed gun owners. These "80% build" kits require no paperwork or background checks since the guns' frames require some final machining (to be completed by the consumer) before they can be assembled as working firearms.[8][9] III Arms still offers complete custom guns through their "authorized III Arms dealer network" for the discerning "Patriot who anticipates that you may one day be forced into Harm's Way to defend life or Liberty" and who is willing to wait 8-11 months for their custom gun.

Birth of a Nation Kingdom[edit]

While medieval-type castle walls will likely help keep the Fedral Guvmint out, the Ottomans will have a field day blanketing the place with their bombards!Wikipedia's W.svg

According to the project's website:[10]

The Citadel is evolving as a planned community where residents are bound together by:

A rainbow of diversity[edit]

Gun ownership and libertarian politics are major failures features, as is the planned curtain wall and castle defense system (yes, castle).

In the center of this real-life attempt at constructing the walled city of Duloc lies a green area (see overview to the right) named "John Parker Green" — presumably intended as a baseball or football field (the most American of sports!) and likely named after the colonial militia officer captain John ParkerWikipedia's W.svg.

The website warns that "Marxists, Socialists, Liberals, and Establishment Republicans may find that living within our Citadel Community is incompatible with their existing ideology and preferred lifestyles."[11] Ya don't say!

There appears to be some overlap with the sovereign citizen movement, as the project claims inspiration from James Wesley Rawles.[12] Rawles himself, however, denies any involvement, viewing the project as a scam and resenting it for riding on his coattails.[13]

Join the Citadel, they said[edit]

Applicants to the Citadel will be required to sign a "Patriot Agreement," which provides that they must pass annual marksmanship tests with handguns and rifles (starting at age 13 for anyone raised within), will own and maintain an AR15 with at least 1,000 rounds of ammunition, and will always be visibly armed with a handgun whenever they are in public.[14]

Which would be the local government regulations requiring citizens to buy products from a private company. Seems a far stretch to think of as fitting a Libertarian philosophy. It would make the people running the town wealthier with captive demand for their product.

Elaborate money-making schemes bilking idealistic adherents seems to be pretty standard for other planned Libertarian communities like Galt's Gulch. It's no wonder that top-flight education is not on the list of things the town charter wishes to promote.

To help fund the project and provide a source of employment, a new gun factory is planned for the location. The Citadel plans to become a tourist attraction with RV parks, "world class fishing", a firearm museum, and perhaps a boarding school.

In addition, they propose a bank that will issue their own gold and silver coins[15] — presumably as collectibles, though they also may plan to use them as a local currency like the Ithaca Hour.

The website's FAQ page reassures readers that the project's organisers are not actually a bunch of wackos, racists, or cultists.[16] However, one of the major figures in this project, Christian Allen Kerodin, does have three felony convictions for extortion and firearms offences.[17]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]